Fresno State’s Mini-Corps Program was recognized by the White House for helping to close the achievement gap among Latino students.
Mini-Corps is a statewide program that was founded in 1967 and is designed to provide instructional services to migrant students in grades K-12 with the help of trained college students.
Mini-Corps coordinators Lilly Lomeli and Jose Mejia were both ecstatic when they heard the news.
“I wanted to scream,” said Lomeli when she found out the program received White House recognition.
“We’re really happy that we got that recognition,” Mejia said. “It just shows the amount of work students do, the impact that they have and what the program has become.”
The online report, “Bright Spots in Hispanic Education Fulfilling America’s Future,” was released on Sept. 15 by the White House. The goal of the report is to highlight the efforts that programs, models, organizations and initiatives have done across the county to help support Latino education and excellence. More than 230 programs were featured on the report.
“It’s a small program, but it has a big impact,” Lomeli said.
The University of Pennsylvania nominated Fresno State’s Mini-Corps Program for the White House honors.
“We work closely with some professors there and that’s how we got connected with them,” Lomeli said.
“We got a grant through the University of Pennsylvania. So they came and they interviewed our students, interviewed us and they recognized this was a good program, especially for future teachers.”
Mejia said the University of Pennsylvania recorded Fresno State’s Mini-Corps Program information, wrote it all up and then submitted it.
“They felt that it was a great program, and that it should be recognized,” he said. “I think they saw the process students go through and the support they get here. The end result is not only positive but very high in terms of our students graduating and actually acquiring their teaching credentials.”